Aquaponic Gardening

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What HID reflectors do you use and why? 

 

I know there are other good options, but if you only need 4" or no air-cooling, i keep coming back to the Super Sun original.  I have tried Maybe 7or 8 others.  The super sun original (there is a super sun 2 which i dont like as much, but it does have 6" air-cooled fittings)  is extremely small and lightweight, while sending out a fairly even footprint for all size bulbs.  I have used 400, 600, and 1000W in this reflector.  This reflector would be good for supplemental light in a GH since it is so small it would creating little shading of natural light during the day.  The only downside is it only has 4" air-cooled fittings. I ahev tried 6" and 8" air-cooled reflectors such as Cool Sun XL 8" and the Yield Master 6" and have noticed a poor light footprint (uneven) and a lot of light being lost through the holes for the ducting. The Super Sun OG has reflective covers over the air-cooled ports so that no light is lost down the air cooled ducting.  I will search for an extremely in-depth post from another forum that has people taking a light meter every square inch w/ different reflectors and data logging it.  If i remember correctly i think the Super Sun OG was one of the better ones (least hot spots, most even footprint). I look for that info.

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I also have good luck with super suns but got talked in the cool tubes due to better ventalation features.  They have a reflective wing option that I may try down the road on one but very happy with how they sread the light so far.  One advantage of a wing is that you adjust your light patteren how you want it where a tradtional sytle hood you got what got other than some up down bulb adjustment
It might be a good idea when you are not running air-cooled to change the reflectors out (if you have spares) or at a minimun cover the air-cooling ports to get minimize lost light.  Also what size cool tubes you got, 6"?

I just bought 2- 6" cool tubes and i'm running 600 watts in them. They were on sale at a local hydroponics store so I thought I would try them out. I am very impressed with the light footprint. I am using them in a 8'x4' secret jardin grow tent over 3'x3' flood tables and they seem to be working well. If they weren't in the grow tent I would probably try and get a more beneficial wing, but for what I have they seem to work fine.

 

@jrtroubleshooter. Do you run them with an inline fan? Or is it even necessary? I see yours in the pics are really close to the plants with no air cooling, have you ever had problems?

i got the 8 inch ones and I do not currently have my fan hooked up to them yet they are warming my living room nicely.  They about the same temp right over and under the bulbs warm to the touch I would guess around 100 degress, they are on a mover as you noted in the pic barely touching the leaves of some of my taller plants.  I was told the tubes cool much better than convential vented reflectors.  And as you said I very happy with results, I do have a super sun that I am not using so maybe a comparisn grow is in future....

@jrtroubleshooter. That's really good to know that you're not having problems with the lights being so close to the plants. I also thought I saw that you run 4' 8tube T5's over your clones/seedlings. Does that work well for you? I only run a single T5 over my clones and seedlings until sufficient root growth is started and it seems to work out alright. 

What types of ballasts are you using for your MH and HPS cooltubes?

T5 work great they get hotter than I thought, I am using old school mechanical ballist on the HID lights

T5's are gr8, but they do get warm (contrary to popular belief), and they have a small light footprint once u get past seedlings, and clones.  I use T5's exclusively for my seedlings and clones.  I will use T5's for full grown leafy greens if i want to blast them w/ light because i keep the T5's 1-3" above the canopy.  HID's on movers may be better, but i need to do actual side-by-side tests. I think im going to convert some of my laundry room to side-by-side experiments; i have always wanted to do that. 

 

Ive got 2 400W Galaxy electronic ballast, and 1 1000W Quantum electronic ballast.   What Ballast you running Logical?

Yeah I would love to see some results from that cuz I run some mature plants under 250W CFL's and they seem to love it. But overall, I don't really like CFL's. And all this talk about LED's do you guys know if they work. They are way out of my price range for what I would like to spend on lights, so I never tried them. 

 

I run 2- 600W MH/HPS ValuLine ballasts for my cool tubes and I have a 150W Hydrofarm hood with a built in ballast. I have seen the Galaxy line and those look really nice.

AJ, How hot does your 1000W get? Do you air cool?

Well i have a really cold basement LOL.  So in the winter i actually do not have to air cool it. Also it is dimmable to %75 or %50 which reduces the light, but also the heat so i can adjust to a lower Watt setting on a unusually hot day.  I havent had a summer in my new house yet; so i dont know how the heat will go in the summer, which is really only 4 months here in WI.  I will either add an extraction fan to my room, add air-cooling, run my portable air-conditioner, or just buck up and buy H2O-cooled reflector.  The galaxy ballasts are my favorite so far out of the 5+ different types ive tried, but their are alot of new electronic ballast that come out like every month it seems.  Digital ballast run way cooler, give you more lumens per watt, almost all of them are dim-able, and they can all be run with MH or HPS bulbs.
That's pretty nice that you don't have to heat your basement during the winter cuz that gets costly. Those electronic ballasts seem like really good investments, I'll have to buy one next time. Have you ever run a water cooled reflector? What size light footprint do you have for your lights?
I personally havent run H20-Cooled lighting, but ive been to 2 gardens running them.   Honestly i normaly use 400, 600, and 1000W for a 4'x'4 area if stationary, and anywhere from a 4'x'4 to a 4'x8' area if they are on a rail.  I know this is very general, but it has always seemed to work out for me. This is just my opinion though. I normally treat each situation differently for example, what plants are being grown, if it is to sell or for personals, etc.  I normally try to use the least amount of light and try to get the best use of my watts.  Though i may get lower yields using 1 400W on a mover over a 4'x8' area instead of 2 400W, there is half the NRG usage in lightning alone. The cooling costs are reduced in half as well.  Plus the upfront costs on another lighting system and cooling system (fans ducting, etc.), and the fact that HID bulbs need replacement at least yearly. All this tends to add up, more than 1 light rail. I am willing to experiment to try to get a higher yeild per Watt using 1 400W on a rail over a 4'x8' area if all costs are considered.  I have run this before for personal use and it was plenty (i only used non-fruiting plants though).  Once again i would like to do some side by side test in this upcoming year to really put all this down in facts not just use small experiences and speculations.

Did they have any algae problems in those water cooled reflectors? 

That seems like a good system that you are using and I would assume you get great yields from all of that! I have never used a light rail before, how exactly do they work? I'm assuming they are automatic and move fairly slow?

Do you primarily run a flood and drain or something else?

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